Old time radio blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Playlists, March 9 - 12, '09

NBC University Theater - This Side of Paradise. (1949) This sucked, plain and simple. I was really disappointed with this lame production of the Jazz Age classic by F Scott Fitzgerald. Guy Madison, who later made his name as the butch dad & captain of Lost In Space, sounds like a complete nerd here. Adding insult to injury is some college prof named Orville who calls the book one of Fitzgerald's lesser works! Ack. You want a better version, download the audio book from archive.org by way of Librivox, most of which readers are female and sound like they could beat up Madison and Orville. College gals is mean...

Father Knows Best, Orchid for A Lady (1951) Valentine's Day at the Andersons. Jim and the kids become obsessed with pleasing Margaret with the gift of an expensive orchid. Not one of the better episodes but listenable, except for the constant whining of Kitten.
Burns & Allen, Aunt Clara Kangaroo (1940) The gang's on tour supporting Gracie's bid for the presidency. George is put in charge of his "aunt", actually Gracie's pet kangaroo (don't ask) -- trouble ensues. I liked the taxi trip and Allen sings a cute song by Glenn Miller. Also the orchestra really kicks with a nifty swing instrumental.
Our Miss Brooks, Project X (1955) Conklin's bucking for an upgrade via the Board of Education and his creepy PA system that can hear a mouse (or Connie) pass gas. Naturally the whole school wants to aid in his speedy exit. Pretty funny for a late-series entry.
Halls of Ivy, Valuable Painting (1951?) Ronald & Benita Colman once again prove two things: that they were a class act and boy, those two must have had a great love life in private. Episode revolves around a Goya painting bequeathed to Ivy College by a late benefactoress. Dr Hall's problem is whether to keep it and bring prestige to the school, or sell it for a new school station wagon and other necessities.
Magnificent Montague, Agnes Joins A Cult (1951) Another great catfight between maid Agnes and boss Monty early in the episode rather devolves into a left-field denouement that left me scratching my head. Probably heralded the coming cancellation of the show.
Dimension X - Shanghaied (1951) Rich kid is abducted by sleazy space tramps and forced to serve as deckhand on a spaceship headed for Alpha Centauri, a trip that will take 15 years! Creepy and scary, although probably owes much to Robert Louis Stevenson.
CBS Radio Mystery Theater - Fall of The House of Usher, and Blizzard of Terror (both 1974) Two of the better episodes of this overrated anthology series. Poe's classic gave me the willies in it's earnestness; Blizzard I figured out early on but Lois Smith (Jack's sis in 5 Easy Pieces, Helen's aunt in Twister) upped the quality in a believable reading as a liberated woman harrassed (along with her milquetoast hubby) by a sexist creep in a snowbound cabin.

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